What One of the Largest Lenders is Saying About the Trucking Market

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Jared Flinn: You're listening to the bulk loads podcast. Your number 1 resource for everything bold freight trucking. Jared Flinn: Hey, guys. Jared Flynn with the Bulk Loads podcast. Got Tyler here with me. What's going on? Summertime, man. Tyler Allison: It is. It's the best week of the year. Jared Flinn: 4th July. Yeah. It's my favorite time. Tyler Allison: I love, I love the fireworks and all the family gathering and and everything. Jared Flinn: Yeah. So this 4th July is kind of our family's holiday. We started inviting people over years ago. And, Joe, I'm gonna give you a picture if you wanna throw up here, but, every year, it's gotten bigger and bigger. We hosted our at our house. And, yeah, it's just it's been cool to see our kids as they were this big, now this big with their friends and, just having a really fun time. So, yeah, inspiring it up, man. Tyler Allison: I turned into the little kid around fireworks. I'm like, dude, I'd I know it's like burning money, but, like, I still I go all out with them. Jared Flinn: Yeah. So well, yeah, to your family, happy 4th July this week. Hopefully, you get to spend time. Don't, blow off any hands or Yeah. Or fingers, in the process. Tyler Allison: Keep all your limbs. Before we jump into the truck feature today, I just wanna remind everyone, we got this shirt hanging up, the 4th July shirt. Even though you may get it after 4th, we still have a few hundred left. So if you still want 1, you haven't received 1 yet, we're going to link in the description how you can get 1. You simply just click the link. You'll fill out the, address of where we can ship it to, and we'll get it on its way to you. Jared Flinn: Yeah. 4th July, fair shirt. I mean, any summer gathering. Tyler Allison: So America in general. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Yeah. I love the shirt. Actually, I've had a lot of people compliment me on it. It's like they think they notice it, how it looks. So Tyler Allison: Yeah. Very cool. Well, the truck feature we have today is Jason Jason Wright with TMA Trucking out of Memphis, Missouri. Jason's been a member since 2022. So we thank you, Jason, for submitting this picture, and it's it's a cool 1. Yeah. Definitely like that. Black on black. Tyler Allison: Yeah. The sunset in the background. I really like the lights coming down on the bottom of the truck and they kind of take that angle. Riley George: It's really cool. Jared Flinn: Oh, yeah. And the fenders? Yeah. Yeah. I like Tyler Allison: I like the rigs with the lights on them. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Awesome. Well, yeah. Thank you for sharing. If you would like, to have your truck featured on the podcast, just send, you can do it through different ways, but podcast at bulkloads.com. We're on social. You can send in any message that way. If you're listening to this, you can drop it down and just add it in the comments below, and we'll add it on there. Jared Flinn: We would love to feature it out there. And, man, who doesn't like watching or looking at trucks? Yeah. I do. So cool. Well, today's guest, I'm gonna bring on Riley George, which, actually, you are good friends with Riley's brother. Tyler Allison: Yep. Wyatt. Jared Flinn: Wyatt George. Did you guys go to school together? Is that right? Tyler Allison: We we hung out. We started we met in college and just connected to school, but, yeah, the wives are are close. Yeah. Yeah. Wyatt's been always a good dude. And I mean, he's he's a truck driver, man. Like, he that's he lives and breathes it, and you can tell that's just their whole family thing. And then, yeah, I got, connected with Riley. Tyler Allison: Wyatt introduced me, and he, it's cool to see how he's kinda doing the other side of the business, and he's a very sharp dude. Jared Flinn: Yeah. So the whole family, I mean, Riley, who you're gonna hear in a little bit, he's 3rd generation. The grandpa started, and, George exchanged. They're up out of Southeast Missouri. And, you know, the dad is in the business and then I guess there's an uncle too. Yep. But then now, Riley's still in the business, but he also he works for BMO Bank and then his brother, Wyatt, who lives here in town. And, actually, if you when you look at the very intro of this podcast, the picture of the hopper and the guy rolling the tarp, that's Wyatt on here. Jared Flinn: So, but yeah. So but, anyways, Riley, I I'm kinda following my words here, but this show was amazing. I always say some of our biggest downloads is when we talk about what the industry is doing, we talk about the data, or we talk about trucking regulations. This is 1 that you're gonna hear data. This guy too, he like, there's some guys that can talk about this, and it's just it's it's so easy to understand. Riley George: Yeah. Jared Flinn: And that's why I met Riley. He came to our conference back in April and asked him to come by into the studio and record this. And without a doubt, you're gonna love this show. Tyler Allison: Yeah. Yeah. He presents some really good information. And, like, I mean, like I said, he gets a whole another side of it because of what he does with the bank and the the equipment financing and the number of companies that he's working with. You talked about it in the show, but he sends out a a weekly report of just the state of the industry, that he now sends to our entire office. But, yeah, just the information that he unpacks in that is really good. He has some really good points that it seems like a trend now of what we're seeing episode after episode. But he does have some encouraging words of kind of, some advice of if you're a trucking company right now struggling, whether you're a 1 truck guy or, you know, 20 trucks, he gives some more advice of what you can do right now with the state of the industry. Jared Flinn: Yeah. And we'll unpack some of that after the after the show Yep. There at the end. So cool. Well, with that said, here is my conversation with Riley George of BMO Bank. Riley, thanks for coming to the studio. Riley George: Absolutely. Glad to be here. Yeah. And Jared Flinn: I think we're gonna unpack a lot. But just to kinda set the stage, man, you come from a generation of trucking Yeah. Family trucking, your brother, which I know is a member on Bull Close. Well, I you're you're a member on Bull Close to the company. Yeah. But, I've got to know your brother really well. So excited for you to be on here and what we're really gonna talk about today. But, yeah, talk about man, just, talk about the generations, your grandpa starting up in trucking. Riley George: Yeah. So, my grandpa, he's been trucking since the late fifties or early sixties. Started out hauling lumber in our part of the country, you know, back before deregulation. And, you know, he had 3 sons. My dad was the middle of them. We also had a family farm over in Southeast Missouri. Dad got old enough to drive, fell followed right into his shoes, and my brother and I did, believe it or not. Sitting here, I did the same thing. Riley George: But yeah. Yeah. We're, 3rd generation behind the wheel. I'm a CDL holder. I'll drive a truck. I'm gonna be driving 1 tomorrow, actually. So, we, you know, come from a long line. I'm very proud of it. Riley George: It's it's 1 of those industries you, once it kinda sinks its teeth into you, you you don't ever get it out of you. Jared Flinn: Yeah. So, obviously, your brother's still driving. Dad's still driving. Mhmm. And then you're kinda running we're talking about this earlier, kind of the vaccines of the business Yeah. Of the company. But, you've taken a little bit different path. I mean, you're in the family business, but you also, you've kinda taken kind of had a variety of roles in the trucking industry, but just from a different angle, but I saw you'd, worked for truck dealership for Riley George: a while. I did. I did actually the believe it or not, before I got into the banking side of it, I've got more experience in the dealership. I came to St. Louis to go to college and, drove a drove a roofing, a local roofing delivery truck. And, when, this is back in the early 20 tens whenever the tornadoes hit the hit the airport up there. Everybody and their brother got in the roofing business and kind of, you know, small family business I work for, for, we kinda got put under. And I was looking for a job and and, went to Larson Group, gave me a chance selling trucks and worked with my college schedule. Riley George: So just, hustled trucks for them for about 5 years and, went over to, Kenworth in Fenton, which was closer to my house. They were opening a dealership over there. A group out of Illinois had bought it and was remodeling it. And, got got an opportunity to be the assistant general manager and then move into the general manager role there. So I ran that dealership for 6 a little over 6 years. Okay. So a lot a lot of experience with PACCAR. PACCAR is in my blood. Riley George: And then, my role that I'm in now, vice president transportation finance for BMO there in St. Louis. The gentleman that was in my role after 33 years retired. Okay. We had worked with BMO a lot, and I got an opportunity to come fill his shoes. And it was just a a good transition for me to come over and and take that on and went from having, you know, 49 people under my belt to 5. That that was a that helped me as a as a and at the same time, all this was happening. Our trucking company was growing. Riley George: And and so I seen an opportunity to have a little more, you know, flexibility to help with the the backside of the family business and and get it to the next level And, just use my knowledge of the industry and what I see every day to kinda help help, you know, keep the buffers up for us to see the do's and don'ts. Jared Flinn: So talk about BMO, and and I didn't know this, and I'd you start sending your your weekly you are forwarding their weekly reports of BMO what's out. But talk about BMO for those that don't know. I mean, because they're very involved in Riley George: Mhmm. Jared Flinn: The trucking industry, specifically with, truck lease or not leasing, but financing for Riley George: Yes. Jared Flinn: Trucking or trucks and truck parts and all that. Mhmm. Riley George: Yeah. So BMO is the, 1 of the biggest and the oldest in trucking. This is we're proud to we're we're talking it on all of our marketing propaganda if you see it. This is our 50th year in the business. Jared Flinn: Oh, nice. Riley George: And, you know, none of us are none of us are are, not aware of the, the state of the industry right now. And so there's a lot of banks pulling out of it, and we're keeping our heels dug right in, standing next to our customers when a lot of our a lot of our competition is not. And we're we're very proud of that. We're here for the long haul. We, we will finance equipment for the the individual owner operator, up to our big I mean, we we deal with the biggest carriers in the country. So we work with every shape and size, and our and our approach to the market is, you know, obviously, we wanna lend you money. We wanna earn your deposit relationship. We wanna have those those lines of credit in place. Riley George: But we we really try to use our experience to not be a financial advisor and tell you how to invest, but try to give you guidance, kind of be that hybrid between a CPA and a and a financial advisor. Say, hey. You know, look. You're struggling here. We've seen this work for others, but try this, you know, just to kinda give that advice or, hey. Are you sure you wanna, you know, go out and buy 10 tankers now with the state of the industry or you're 10 dry vans, you know, just try to provide that that that little bit of experience. Jared Flinn: And geographically, where's BMO? So we just acquired Riley George: bank of the west, which brought our footprint into the 11 Western states. We're predominantly through the Midwest. So all line from Ohio, you know, through Colorado. Basically, we were through the central part of the United States, but now we're in the 11 Western States as well. Transportation finance division is based in Irving, Texas. Okay. But we've got commercial banks scattered all over in every major metropolitan map. Jared Flinn: So And the headquarters is in? Riley George: For BMO? Yep. Montreal, Canada. Jared Flinn: It's Bank of Montreal. Riley George: We're a Canadian based bank. We are the United States US division, but, and we have a a big commercial headquarters in Chicago as well. But transportation specifically is based in Dallas. Jared Flinn: Hey, guys. I wanna pause real quick and just say thank you for listening and happy 4th July to you and your family. Hopefully, you're spending this holiday with your loved ones and taking a moment to reflect on just the great country that we live in and the blessings that we have. We have been just so blessed by God to have this country, that we can call the great US of a. Hope you're enjoying this podcast with Riley George. We have really taken an effort this year to bring high quality content for our listeners to use and digest and hopefully make better decisions for their business. We know the industry's tough right now. If you are on bulk loads and maybe not having the success you want, reach out to us. Jared Flinn: We have a team of professionals that talk to 1, 000 of companies, some, show our newest tools and techniques on the load board. Let us show you some things that maybe you didn't know that you could do on there. Some ways that you can send direct shipper emails, get your truck posted, and really get in contact with those companies to, get you the freight you needed. Or if you are brand new, never been on bulk loads, been interested, sign up today. Let us give you a demo and show you how we can get you connected. We know the industry stuff out there, and we are doing everything we can to get you connected with the right people. Just go to bulkloads.com, click sign up, and we can walk you through. Again, if you're on there, reach out to us via phone or, send an email to support at bulk loose.com. Jared Flinn: And, yeah, let us show you. I mean, we wanna get you connected, and we want you to be successful. Again, happy 4th July, and God bless you all. We're gonna get into talking about the state of the industry because I think that's what most of these listeners wanna hear about. But, I guess I'm just more curious. How did they get so big into truck financing truck and trailer financing? Riley George: Well, it actually goes back to the old associates days as most people remember right out of Kansas City, that was bought by Citigroup. Jared Flinn: Okay. Riley George: Citigroup was acquired by GE Capital, which BMO acquired in 2, 000 13. So back 50 years ago, if people don't know who we are, we're the old associates. So any of our any of our older listeners, they're gonna remember us as associates back in the day. Okay. So same group, the head of our division, he's been at the helm since, KUI at this 37th, 38th year at the helm. So lot of lot of knowledge at at the top of the rank too. Jared Flinn: And you have companies from I mean, you're telling me, 1 1 to 2 up to some of the largest carriers in the United States. Riley George: Right? Yeah. Yeah. Your your mega carriers, name them, going down the highway, your big box carriers, they all do business with BMO. So me personally, my biggest my biggest customer runs about, 1200 trucks Yeah. 25 100 trailers. Drive in, it doesn't matter. Drive in, flatbed, reefer, upper bottom, you know, the bulk industry. It's it's all on our under our wheel. Riley George: You know, II1 thing I like to talk about it talking about that is a lot of banks you work with, when we get into the times we're in right now, I'm segued into the economy. Yeah. They don't they want a box trucking up and put us all in 1 big umbrella and under 1 big umbrella and say, oh, it's it's just terrible everywhere in our industry right now. And it it is. It's not the greatest of of what it we're not in our best year ever. Haven't been. But some are doing better than others. You know? I and I as I talk to clients specifically in the bulk industry, you know, yeah, we're we're seeing some tough times, but I can tell you there's a lot worse out there right now. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Riley George: And so you when we approach the our approach to the market, we we don't box our customers up. I'm not gonna compare my 5 truck guy that has, you know, 5 hopper bottoms to my customer that has 500 dry vans. So it's not not that's not the right approach, but a lot of people act that way in our in our business. So Jared Flinn: Talk let's get into the industry. And I I just found this fascinating. You know, You were saying, like, we're at levels that, you know, upper management, the guy running the y'all's company has not seen in his 37 years talking about the industry. I've been in this for getting close to 20 years. You know, I've seen some of these recessions. Riley George: Mhmm. Jared Flinn: And let's just talk about that because I think that I find that fascinating. Oh, yeah. Riley George: Well, it's the the downturn in 08 was was tough. 1 of the toughest and also in the early 2000 in tech bubble. But the problem with the 1 we're in now is just how long it's been. When we we first started seeing the ripples in May, June of 22, and they really started to turn up in October of 22. And, you know, most any recession, any freight downturn we've seen prior to this is is came back just about as quick as it went down. This 1 turned up we went from, you know, a 100 to 0 very, very fast. It was very sharp downturn, and it's just continued to lag on. We just keep bouncing along the bottom. Riley George: And, you know, our our economists that work for us, you know, we we look at spot rates every day and and look at different data points and and, you know, we keep saying, well, 1 more quarter, 1 more quarter. Well, now we're we we kind of talked earlier in the year and said, you know, if we don't see something here by summer, we're not gonna see anything change until after the election at this point. Because any anytime you're in an election year, no matter how good of of the freight industry is, you you're you it stagnates. You don't see a ton of growth. You'll see that you'll see in in good years, you'll see that guy that that normally buys 5 trucks. He he'll buy 5. It won't be, I'm gonna trade in 5 and buy 7, you know, and grow by 2. Those just don't happen. Riley George: And so you add, you couple that with the fact that we're seeing rock bottom pricing. It's just gonna be, I think, until the election is over, we're not gonna see much. And we're not we we've heard that the the Fed's gonna lower rates here probably in the fall of the year, maybe a second 1 towards the end of the year. We'll see. But just looking at all these factors, unfortunately, it's gonna be it's gonna be tough the rest of the year. I think we're gonna be 25, you know, even if we see these downturns and there when I say downturns and interest rates and we start to see a comeback, I I just don't think we're gonna there's there's gonna be that period of just breathing again, right, where these companies are getting their feedback on them. I'm like, okay. Let's get back to work. Riley George: You know? So, you know, 2025 is I I think we'll see some positivity. I think it'll be a good year. I think we'll start to see a pre buy of trucks because we've got the new emission standard coming out for 2027 emissions. So that, you know, that which will be the 2026 2026 will be the year you're buying your 2027 year model trucks. So 2025 will be a big buy year for, I think, a lot of carriers that that wanna try to update their fleet as much as possible before the new emissions hit. And they haven't bought anything in the last or not much the last couple of years because of what what we're faced with. Yeah. So I think 2025 has got a lot of reasons to be positive, and I hope I'm I'm right about that, but we've been you we've been we've been playing this guessing game for a year now. Jared Flinn: Well, I I wanna dwell just a little bit on the why, because I I just find that fascinating and, you know, we can say some of us kind of speculation. Mhmm. But, I mean, 1 thing for sure, there's been more larger carriers in this cycle Yes. That we've seen go out of business bankrupt. And you didn't you know, some of these other cycles, yeah, you see a cleanup and Yeah. Some of these small companies, you know, these people that got into it when it was hot and they're flushing back out. Right. But, man, we're seeing a 100 year old companies, 500 plus trucks. Jared Flinn: They cannot run bankrupt. Well, I I guess, like and I you know, it's funny. I you know, Jesse Runyon's who I've had on our podcast, Wealth of Knowledge, we kinda talked about this before a little bit, but, like, what happened to cause these companies that you thought were solid financially solid to not make it into this recession? Riley George: Well, couple different reasons. Number 1, I think of some tried to grow a little, maybe a little too aggressively. When freight rates were really good. Didn't hold on Jared Flinn: to as much cash as probably what Riley George: they should have. And secondly, I mean, we're just running out of cash. I mean, the last 2 years, the other I I can't tell you how many clients that I work with that are just burning cash to stay afloat right now, you know, and to try to flush those those bottom feeder carriers out of it. That's what you typically do in these cycles as you just have enough reserve to do that. But it's, again, it's been so long that you just can't outrun it. You know, it's survival of the fittest right now. I think the last statistic I read was there was there's been 12, 000 DOT numbers surrendered, through this recession. And I hate to say that, but, you know, it it I hate to see anybody out of work, but Yeah. Riley George: It's gonna have we're gonna have to rough tighten up capacity. There's just too many trucks on the road. And and we're starting to and I that's why we're starting to see it in the bulk industry a little bit more. III laugh. I went to Kansas a couple of weeks ago with my brother and, how many you can see the newbies, you know, coming into our industry and you can tell, you see these guys pulling hoppers and they're on, you know, low pro 22 tires and the tall sleepers, you know, and they're not they're not hopper guys, you know, like, you're like, yeah. You're you're pulling a van last week. I weren't you? You know? Jared Flinn: Yeah. So Riley George: Just try they're trying to outrun it. Jared Flinn: Yeah. That's what it is. I think I'm speculating here too. You you talk about when the industry was so hot in just general freight. Like, these trucking companies, they have these customers they had Riley George: to serve. These Jared Flinn: customers are demanding more capacity Right. More capacity. So they're not I won't say they're reinforced, but they gotta meet that capacity Right. To keep that customer. So they're buying more trucks, get more on the road. Well, now they're stuck with that capacity. The customer doesn't need them. Riley George: Right. And not to mention they overpaid for that equipment. Jared Flinn: And they overpaid for it because everything was sky high. Riley George: You're a 100% right. A 100% right. Trucks, trailers, it all was very, very expensive during that time. And and we were I mean, it got to the point for us at the bank where we're like, we know this is gonna turn around at some point, and we don't know how bad that's gonna be, what that's gonna look like, but I'm not gonna own this truck for if it's a, you know, a typically a $160, 000 truck and you're buying it for 2.20. I understand you need the equipment, but I can't put that much money into it. I if if god forbid things turn over tomorrow, I don't wanna own that truck. I wanna repo that truck for 220, 000. I'll repo it for 160. Riley George: Yeah. Because I know I can sell it and get out from underneath it at that point. We were forced to have some of those tough conversations. And and looking back at it now, I I mean, it wasn't good at the time, but I'm glad we did. You know, we've I I cuts off to BMO, not me. BMO has done a really good job of, you know, at the time we were, like, really wanting to get these deals, and they were saying, no. We're gonna ask for some down payment on this. This is way too much for the in good learning experience for me. Riley George: But looking at that now, I'm glad we walked away from some of those deals because we we're we're navigating a very low, you know, delinquency ratio compared to our entire portfolio, very low in terms of repos compared to some of our peers. We do have them and are they're they're as high as they've ever been. But, I think compared to our peer group, we're we're 1 of the lowest. And so I'm glad we took that approach. I think some of our customers that we deal with are glad we gave them that advice at the time. I mean, looking back at it, but, you were Jared Flinn: talking before the recording. I I thought this was awesome. And I, you know, you get to see this from a different lens, Riley George: and Jared Flinn: you get to see the whole landscape. You get to see the general freight, you know, the reefer, flatbed driving, the hopper, you know, all the different bulk. But you made a you kind of said that, you know, and I want you to kinda show yeah. You're talking about the the cycles of each. Yeah. Riley George: And Jared Flinn: the thing is bulk is still relatively pretty good. Oh, competitive. If you're if you're looking at the general freight and again, I'm not trying to say the bulk is great right now, Riley George: but like Yeah. So so that's my the best way to describe it. This is reefers and dry vans. Right? And here's some hoppers. You know, we're right down the middle. We weren't seeing the $6, you know, 7 crazy stuff, but we're also not seeing the dollar 90 stuff right now either. You know? So Jared Flinn: Well, you said, I'm a hopefully, why listens to this? But he was complaining the other day at a a 2 40 mile rate Riley George: or something. Jared Flinn: And Yeah. I'm like, why? You just Riley George: trust me. There's a lot worse freight out there. I know I've got several clients that would kill to have $2 40 mile mile mile per mile freight. I'm sorry. Yeah. Yeah. It it's it's tough, and I and I feel for me. And the best thing I could say, I and I'm a lot long in the tooth in this industry. Riley George: I mean, coming just have a background in it. But what I see in times like this, and and they get frustrated at banks because we don't we we have trouble lend lending into it in these times is everybody wants to try to do something different, new, and innovative. And we try to say, it's no different anywhere you go right now. And you and, really, you're you're gonna be worse off thinking you're gonna you're gonna park your hoppers and go pull a flatbed because you've gotta go try to build that relationship with that ship with that new customer. Mhmm. You know, it it's hard for we're already in a bad time. I know what flatbeds are doing. You know? And I know you don't you're not gonna have dedicated lanes or where you go, so you're gonna be relying on that spot rate, which is awful. Riley George: Yep. It it so, I mean, so we we have a hard time with that. We're trying to, you know, coach some of our customers. Say, hey. This we just need to stay in our lane. Everybody needs to hold hold tight to what they're doing, tighten belt where you can, and and let's just get through it. And and to that, I mean, when we when you fall on hard times, we just ask that just be honest with us. Like, we mean, does Jared Flinn: I don mean, does I don't wanna own Riley George: that equipment. Yeah. You know? And I don't wanna, you know, lose your deposits. I mean, that's that's where we, you know, we make money off deposits and work off that money too. We wanna keep that business in house as much as we can. But what gets really disheartening for me is, you know, you work all these years to build these relationships with people and we fall in these hard times. And then, you know, you fall we have clients that fall blank 1 on payments and they just ghost us. Like, I, you know, I personally pick up the phone and call these guys. Riley George: Hey. What's going on? Like, can we can we do a 3 month extension? Can we modify this somehow to help you get through it? Yeah. And you can't get people to answer the phone. That's the worst thing you can do because then if I can't get a phone call in 3 months, I'm gonna go hunting for the equipment. That's not what I want. That's not what I would rather us work through this. And then you remember this a year from now, and so my interest rate might be a little higher than somebody else's, but you remember I was there for you when it was tough. You know? Same thing. Riley George: And I I remember that whenever, you know, you can get a cheaper interest rate, but you went with me because we have a, you know, a good relationship. Like, it works both ways. We're partners. We're not we don't need to be enemies, especially right now. We need to work together. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I this is like such good practical advice. I mean, just any relationship in business because you're gonna have these hard times, and it's really how you respond in these times to set the tone. And, again, the industry will come back up. Yes. We know it will. You know? It's we're gonna have another crash, but how do we how do you work together Right. You know, with with providers to make sure that, you know, everybody's on the same page, you know, and everybody's gotta win in this. Jared Flinn: Yeah. You're a Riley George: 100% right. We we all we all gotta work together. Like I said before, we're none of us are we're all in business to make a profit. Right? We we don't put our pants on for free, but it we just need to be fair with 1 another and realize that. I I think that I think times like this I I hate to see them last as long as they have, but I I think sometimes these times are good reality checks for us to make sure we're not getting lazy with our operations that we are running good, well efficient machines. Hopefully, not 2 years long of a of a reality check. You know, 6 months might maybe, but, Yeah. It's it's good for us. Riley George: Yeah. But, it needs to come back, and we need to get back to just doing business doing business as usual. Jared Flinn: You know? We have AAA sign out here in our hallway says, you know, adversity only makes us better. And it's like, it's so tough where you're in those moments, but it's it's those moments that it's hopefully gonna propel you professionally but professionally and personally in your business. Riley George: Yeah. And, you know, you're gonna be, you know, 2 years down the road, we're gonna be sitting here doing a doing a podcast on something else without some other constraint in the industry. You know? And we're gonna be saying, man, you remember back 2 years ago when the freight was such a tank, now we're making $4 a mile Riley George: and Yeah. Riley George: $5, you know, whatever the case is. But now we can't keep these trucks running because they got this new emission system or whatever it is. But I was talking to a young truck salesman here not too long ago, and he's like, man, I just can't wait for that normal year in in truck sales where I can just just sell. And I had told myself, buddy, there's no such thing as normal in this business. We'll we'll get through this hurdle, and there'll be another 1 right behind it. But this 1 this one's pretty tough. Jared Flinn: Yeah. I wanna kinda switch a little gears. I just I I think this is worth saying, and not to dwell on this, but we were we we were talking a little bit earlier, but and, again, you're wearing a different lens because, I mean, you're in this business working with our truck lines, part owner in the trucking business, very passionate about the trucking industry. Riley George: But, you Jared Flinn: know, in a sense, the industry can be, there could be a lot of predatorial things that happen to these, to these small business owners. You know, we try to do everything from our, you know, from the very beginning starting bulk loads is to really help the small business owner in any size. We support them all, but we really saw our hard passion is helping that small company not yet taken advantage of, you know, giving you know, helping them, serving them at a fair price value and all that. But it was interesting. You you noticed that too. It just how much, but I just love to hear kind of your heart behind. Riley George: I absolutely hate to see these guys taken care of taken advantage of like they are. And and quite honestly, I just don't know any better. You know? And in in the dealership specifically, I've seen this all the time where, you know, we we always treated our customers fairly. I I tried to instill that in my people in in the dealership was, well, look. We're gonna make money. They know we're gonna make money. Let's just be fair with everybody. Let's win let's win every deal. Riley George: Let's not get rich on our customers today. Let's get rich on them over time where we have all their business. I don't wanna just sell them 2 filters. I wanna sell them 2, 000 filters or, you know, whatever the case may be. I, I, we would sell these filters. Guys would come in off the, I'm just using filters as an example. Cause I could think of 1 example of a reefer guy pulls in a chicken hauler from out west somewhere, pulls in, just needed filters. He's, you know, servicing his truck and sold to me. Riley George: He goes, man, I I bought a set here. I they were, like, $27. 1 was 1 and 1 was $50. And he's like, man, I paid almost triple this at the truck stop, you know, on my last oil change. I really appreciate that. You guys don't know me from Adam. And Jared Flinn: Yeah. Riley George: And but, like, because he didn't remember that, like, anytime he was passing through St. Louis, if he might stop by wiper blades, you know, just something silly here. You know? And just those little things you do, he he found a place he felt safe. You know what I mean? And that that to me just really watching my dad and my grandfather and my my brother today, you know, how hard they work, how much time they spend away from their families to I just I can't stand for people to be taken advantage of by not hard they work, you know. And you have to, you know, it's a it's a tough life. You have to want it. You know, you have to wanna be behind that wheel. And it's it's just not fair to for them to be taken advantage of so far away from their home, you know, out of their element completely most of the time. Riley George: And I just I will stand for it. Jared Flinn: Yeah. And I'd like to say this to me. My my father-in-law always instilled me when we first started bulk loads. He was in the he was in the Walmart glory days and worked right underneath, you know, the greatest retailer of all the time, Sam Walton. But it was interesting, you know, Sam had this discipline. It was never about the price. It was like, what's the best value we can bring to the customer? And and honestly, he was always trying to figure out what's the least price that we can make on something and make a profit Right. And give the the customer the largest value. Jared Flinn: And, again, Walmart's probably a little bit different today, but back then, they were known as just that, you know, best price, best value, and, obviously, where they are today. And they just he always said that. He said, just Jared, always remember, you know, give the customer the best value. Don't worry about the price. The the the the money will come along, and that's that's always instilled at us. And, you know, we've created different companies over the years, but it's never been about trying to maximize profits and maximize, but it's been like, hey. Provide the best value Right. And service, and Right. Jared Flinn: Everything else will take care of itself. Riley George: Yeah. I mean, I well, I've always had the similar mentality. The best deal is the 1 you and I agree on at the end of the day. Right? Yeah. So, you know, and hopefully, we both make a it makes us both a little bit along the way, and we just continue to make those deals that work for both of us. I mean, that's how capitalism should work. Right? Yeah. But, Jared Flinn: that's good. Before we end, you, I guess, said this earlier, have a great report, I think, done by your economist that you send out. And it may be speaking out of turn, is that said just can people get access? Do you send that to other can anybody get that? Riley George: Because I Jared Flinn: just want to say that's an awesome industry report that comes out and it kinda shows you what the industry's doing, where fuel's at, with the different data. And what are some of those metric points? And then I guess last, and we can put it in the show notes here. How does someone get on that list? Riley George: So so, I mean, the easiest way, I mean, it would be to just reach out to me directly. Okay. Riley George: If you Riley George: wanna shoot me an email, and we can put that in the show notes or whatever. But, and I'll put you on my list and get it sent out to you. But, yeah, a lot of the data points are just geared towards what the weekly what fuel prices are doing every week, what the economic what real GDP is from week to week, consumer spending on services, you know, consumer spending on goods, what ocean containers, what we're doing for exports, imports. That plays a big role as much as peep you know, it is a huge role in trend trend trucking. You know, what rail's doing from week to week, follow construction in there as well because, you see an uptick in, you know, residential and commercial construction that usually generates freight. Right? Jared Flinn: Yeah. Riley George: So it has all those factors and it shows the week the the week past, spot rates, what they were across, what the national average was there for, you know, reefer van, flatbed, different, all your different, that we don't have 1 for, for hoppers, but obviously if we've talked to the bulk industry is a little different animal. So, don't have 1 for that. But it is really good. It's just a quick read. Jared Flinn: Well, I like some of the I mean, and even some of the commentary on there, you look at I I can just remember 1. Like, if you look at a transient ocean rates going up, you know, that means that demand's picking up, and that should be favorable to the trucking. But on the flip side, you see ocean rates going down or capacity, and that can have a negative effect. But you can kind of all it's kinda start Riley George: Mhmm. Jared Flinn: You know, matching these Yeah. Metrics up. Riley George: I have people that I on my list that I sent to, they're not even trucking. They just like to read it because it just it it it fascinates them how it all ties together. How rail and and ocean and trucks, how we all have to work together. And that I think that read does a good job with that. And it's just, you know, like 5 or 6 pages, whatever we put together that week and and get it out. I I think that the more knowledge we can share amongst ourselves, the better. You know? Yeah. Jared Flinn: Well, we'll put your email in the show notes. So if you're listening or watching this, just drop down and we'll get to Riley's email to to get a hold of that. Just to end this out, Riley, and for our listeners out there that are all different listeners, but maybe some guys are on hard times. They're trying to figure this out. Mhmm. Obviously, you got payments, low rates. I mean, just things are just happening. Like, what advice would you give those companies out there? Riley George: It would stay humble. I mean, we're just gonna have to tighten the belt right now and stay after, don't give up. Don't give up. It's going to get better. You've got it. Don't right now, we've got to pick up the pennies. You just can't step over pennies to pick up quarters at this point in the cycle. Pay attention to your fuel prices. Riley George: I mean, fuel is on it kind of on a downward trend right now, but any, any I would just say anywhere you can find to save a buck right now to to keep your operating costs as low as possible, you need to do that. Operating cost is key in this because you just there's nothing you can do about the freight rate. The only thing you can do is control your overhead and, keep it as tight Jared Flinn: as possible. That's awesome. The last 1, this is more on a on a humorous note. I I want you to show this guy is so in on trucking. His socks have trucks. You gotta just put you gotta, like, oh, like, if you can put your foot on the day just to show this repair. Like, look at this. This guy, like Riley George: Yep. It's a shame. I tell you all the time. Like, if you put me in a role, like, banking, like, trying to sell, like, a safety deposit box or, like, a a mortgage, I'd be terrible at it. Or even trying to, like, finance a pencil. I couldn't do it. He just put me in the trucking industry and that's where we I think at the end of the day, like, I just I like sitting around and talking about trucking and hearing from everybody, you know, and if we if Riley George: we have a place that we fit, we try to fit and help, but, you know, I'll be the first 1 to Riley George: tell you. I get calls from clients. I I today, I'm the way down here. We're not gonna work. It's just not gonna work. I I'm not I'm gonna be too hired. It's just but here's what I think you can do. You know? I I don't I don't try to just tell folks no. Riley George: No. No. No. But that all starts with a conversation, you know, and and hearing folks out. And I think a lot of times, just us having those conversations, we come up with better ideas. And especially right now, talking about what you're just talking about. Everybody's on hard times. Everybody's trying to save a penny. Riley George: But don't neglect your equipment through this. I will say that. Don't neglect the equipment. Don't neglect the equipment. Jared Flinn: Well, man, thanks for coming on this. I I just wanna say this, man. I think I love with your your experience and, you know, the the family you grew up in and the generation and just your cycle and how you've come into this industry, man. You can tell your heart's in it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we all have to make money, but, like, you really care about the industry as a whole and the people that are in it. So, man, I I just wanna say that god's specifically equipped you to be where you are today, and god bless people like you. Jared Flinn: They're out there serving other people for yourself. Riley George: I appreciate that. I I wish we had more more young folks in our business. That's that's the shame of it. Yeah. Yeah. You gotta want it. Jared Flinn: Yep. Absolutely. Well, man, I look forward to, I'm gonna selfishly ask for you to come back on down the road, I think. Absolutely. And, hopefully, we'll be speaking in a lighter lens than Yes. Yeah. The market's up and running and, running hot. So Yep. Riley George: Absolutely. It's cool. And and if you any of your clients want or any of your I'm sorry. Our listeners, I bad to say clients. I'll put my contact info out there. Jared Flinn: Yep. Riley George: If anybody even just wants to talk, we are regionalized, so there are I'm sure we have clients out there that I can't touch just because of the way BMO works, but I I do have partners across the country. And if you just wanted somebody to talk to, somebody wants to just bounce ideas off of off of me, I'd be glad to have that conversation. Jared Flinn: Awesome. Cool. Riley, thanks for coming on. Appreciate you. Riley George: Appreciate it. Thank you, Jared. Jared Flinn: You bet. Tyler, 1 thing that was interesting about Riley, and more importantly, the company worked for BMO, which they're based out of Canada, but I didn't realize they're 1 of the largest lenders for truck and trailers. Tyler Allison: I didn't either. Jared Flinn: They said my truck and trailers. That's huge. I didn't know that that was them. But they, you know, they actually back or they're kind of the party that backs some of these bigger dealerships and does the financials for them. So, like, times, if you're going to a dealership and borrowing money, usually BMO Bank Bank is on the backside actually doing the financing for that. Tyler Allison: Yeah. And I love Riley's take on he talks about whenever he was, you know, selling trucks at the dealership, but he was just, like you can just tell he's a passionate dude, but he was saying, like, I really hate whenever truckers get screwed over. Like, it like and I think that comes from his family being in trucking, you know, his brother and him even, you know, being a part of the trucking business. But, yeah, I I think they that's a part of what he's doing today with the equipment financing is because he said that a large part of their, of their thing as a bank is to also advise these guys on, hey. Like, you know, maybe this isn't a smart financial decision or, you know, you should take a look at this and, you know, add equipment here or whatever. So, they're actively giving advice to these guys too. Jared Flinn: Probably the most single thing I remember Riley saying, this is just simple practical advice. He said like, we know the market's hard and if you're getting into trouble or not trouble, but, like, things are getting tough, like, just communicate with him. Yeah. The worst thing and we've been on that side too with Smartfray and others. Like, man, when you go silent, you don't communicate even though things are rough. Like, that's when things get worse. But if you'll be open, a lot of these companies, they will work with you. You know, a lot of people, like Riley said, like, they don't wanna see anybody go out of business and, like, they wanna do everything they can to make sure that they stay in business and hopefully get back on track when demand picks back up. Jared Flinn: Yeah. And Tyler Allison: I think the a positive outlook of this episode is that he said, you know, their projections, whenever 2025 comps, whenever things really start correcting itself. Yep. Jared Flinn: I believe I believe that too. Tyler Allison: Yeah. Right now, everybody knows we're overcapacitated, but he you know, and right now with the election going on, we always see the same cycle. Nobody's gonna make any decisions. So I think 2025, yeah, we can we can see some hope there. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Cool. Well, Riley, man, god bless you. Thank you for coming on. Like you said earlier, Tyler, Mike, he is passionate about this. Obviously, he's got skin in the game. He's part of a trucking company. And, man, you can just tell he lives and breathes trucking and loves this industry so much. Jared Flinn: So, yeah, we'll put Riley's information below. Tyler said it before. He sends out a weekly report. If you wanna contact him, he said just email him, and he will put you on that report. There's no cost, and I get it every week. And, dude, I love it. Like, it's just like it's just it's a little bit it just gives me a little bit of pulse, something that I can talk about Yep. And know a little bit more about what's going on. Jared Flinn: So, yeah, make sure drop down in the episode notes and, contact Riley for that report. Tyler Allison: I gotta send him an email and find out where he got those socks, man. Riley George: Oh, yeah. Jared Flinn: I did. I'm glad I yeah. Tyler Allison: We gotta make some specific, like, bullcrawler socks, like, just specific for bullcrawler. Jared Flinn: What would be specific on bullcauling? Tyler Allison: Just a truck pulling a hopper or something. Like, I feel like anything trucking like that is just general freight. Like, nobody wants to incorporate, like, a hopper or anything. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Maybe American flag Tyler Allison: on there. Jared Flinn: Yeah. There you go. So awesome. A couple of things before we head out of here. You know, Riley talked about just the market being tough, the cash flow being tight. We wanna just highlight Smart Freight Funding. Yep. You may know about or may not know about Smart Freight Funding, it's a sister company of ours. Jared Flinn: We work hand in hand together. Ladies are based up out of Omaha. They keep factoring super simple. Again, there's no contracts. There's no minimums or or maxes. If you have accounts that you wanna be able deal with directly that are paying you fast, that's fine. And if you have ones that are slower paying, that you need help on getting that money quicker, we can help you there. I can't stress just how much we hear of horror stories of these other factoring companies that lock people in to these just predatory rates. Jared Flinn: Yep. We are not about that, dude. We want people to stay in business and prosper and thrive, and we wanna help you get there. So if you haven't or just wanna look into smartfreightfunding.com, we'll throw the episode or we'll throw the link, excuse me, in the or in the bottom here so you can click on that. We have a team in this office even up in Omaha that will, will gladly explain that to you. And, again, there's no contracts. If you need it just for a little while, man, we would be glad to serve you in that aspect of getting you quick paid. Tyler Allison: Yeah. Exactly. We'll drop the link below. 1 thing I do recommend, though, is that you just recently did a podcast with Sarah Hansen of Smart Freight. Yeah. And that was a few episodes back. But if you're just curious, you just wanna learn more, like, I don't even know what factoring is or what separates Smart Freight from other people or Or do I really need it? Exactly. Yeah. Tyler Allison: Just go listen to that episode. It's it's really good. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Awesome. Cool. Anything else before we close out? Tyler Allison: I think that's pretty much it. Jared Flinn: Yeah. Well, again, man, happy 4th July to you and your family. Last but not least, we do like to pray over our community. We pray every week over our community. But if you have a specific prayer request, we would be honored, to pray that specific request and petition that to our lord. You can send prayers to prayer at bulkloads.com, and, it is anonymous. We have a team here that we will pray over that. So, yeah, make sure and do that. Jared Flinn: And, Tyler, you wanna close Riley George: this out? Tyler Allison: You bet. Lord, we just come to you today. Just thank you and praise you, Lord. We just lift up all of our members, in our charting community right now. Lord, we just said know that, there's a lot of financial hardships going on right now, and we just lift them up and ask you to just, provide peace and strength, for them to continue on, lord. We ask that this week you just bless everyone, with the 4th July, lord. We just ask that you keep everyone safe. Nobody, has any accidents or anything like that Lord. Tyler Allison: We also, just lift up any of the victims of the flooding that is going on right now Lord. We just ask that you be with them and with their families, Lord. We ask that no matter what we do, we shine your light always, Lord. And we ask that, no matter who we're dealing with, whether it's customers or just, interacting with people every day, Lord, there's no doubt in, their mind that we serve you, Lord. We love you and we thank you. Amen. Jared Flinn: Amen. Thank you as always for listening to the Bulk Close Podcast. If you haven't yet, make sure and hit the subscribe button down in the lower left. And also this is a free resource. We would love for you to share this with others out there that they can benefit and know more about what's going on in the trucking industry. So, yeah, please share this if you don't mind sharing it out there. And as we always close out, thank you very much, and God bless the USA. Thank you.